“What do you mean by might not happen?”
She shrugged. “Nothing is set in stone. You could walk out of here, get run over by a car and die on the spot, Luca could fall in love with you and ask you to stay.”
I shook my head sadly. “It’s not that kind of relationship, Katie. He doesn’t want to get close. Anytime we get a little closer, he immediately pulls away emotionally, but you’re right. I’m ruining the little time I have left. I should enjoy it. It will never come back.”
“That’s my girl.”
Afterwards, Katie said, “I’ve kind of lost my appetite. Let’s just have a massive pretzel instead of Chinese food.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m sure. We’ll go to Mr. Chow next week or something.”
We bought large pretzels at a kiosk and sat on one of the benches to eat them. I didn’t feel any better, but I knew Katie was right. I had to stop moping around and live as intensely as possible. Enjoy every second because all of this was going to disappear in less than two weeks.
“I forgot to tell you that Diana called me,” Katie said, as she dipped her pretzel into a container of sour cream.
“I’m finished with her. I never want to see her or talk about her again.”
Her eyes widened. “Wow! That’s drastic. What happened?”
“She came to Torrington Hall and it was not pretty.”
“Oops… I shouldn’t have told her you were living there, should I?”
“It’s okay, you weren’t to know.”
“Sorry, Skye, but she kind of tricked me into telling her. I had no idea she would go there and cause trouble for you.”
“Don’t worry. I’m glad it happened. Now it’s all out in the open. No more pretending. For years I put up with her condemnation and sarcasm. I don’t need that in my life anymore. She’s welcome to think I’m a whore. Her opinion doesn’t bother me one bit.”
With our pretzels eaten, we changed out of our slides into our shoes. Katie turned and hugged me. “It’s going to be okay,” she whispered.
I smiled gratefully at her. She had managed to make me see my situation in a different light. I had already decided not to waste a second of the time I had left. “Of course, it is.”
Then I followed her to the escalator and watched her go down it and turn off towards the car park.
I didn’t want to go back yet. I wanted some time alone to myself. I strolled through the mall towards the ice-cream shop, bought myself a cone with two scoops, and went back to sit at one of the benches inside the main lobby. I watched the myriads of people coming and going. They seemed excited or perhaps it was the season’s decoration in sparkling gold, green, and red that made everyone and everything seem so lively.
“Do you know where the Ladies is?” someone asked next to me.
I looked up and saw a middle-aged woman. She was plump and dressed in jeans and a thick sweater. She was wearing glasses and her auburn hair was a mess of curls and frizzy bangs.
“Over there,” I replied politely, pointing in the direction of the restrooms.
“Thanks honey. Is it okay if I sit next to you for a moment? My feet are killing me,” she said.
“Of course,” I said and moved to make a space for her.
She sat and turned toward me. “Is it okay if I show you something?”
I was not really in the mood to be drawn into someone else’s life. I just wanted a bit of time on my own so I politely smiled and said, “I’m sorry, but I actually have to go now.”
“Just one moment, hun,” she said and pulled out her wallet which I noticed was very much like those I had seen in many movies. My eyes widened. Then she opened the wallet. On one half, I saw her Federal Bureau of Investigation identity card, and on the other was a shiny FBI badge.Chapter 43SkyeShe snapped it shut. “Please remain calm,” she said to me with the loveliest of smiles. “Don’t panic otherwise you’re going to make things very difficult for us. And if you make things difficult for us we, in turn, will make things very difficult for you.”
A shudder passed through me. “W-what is this about?”
She smiled sweetly. “Please smile back at me. There are always eyes on you to ensure your safety. Luca Messana is little else if not vigilant.”
I looked around me in confusion. Were Luca’s men actually following me around? Then it occurred to me that she didn’t understand the relationship I had with Luca. I was not his girlfriend. He didn’t care about me enough to have men following me around and guarding me. “You don’t understand—,” I began.
“No, you don’t understand. If you do not follow my instructions, you and your family will bear the consequences. I believe your father is away in Switzerland enjoying the perks of being associated with the Messana clan as we speak.”